Mitsubishi Eclipse

The original Mitsubishi Eclipse is a product of Diamond Star Motors, a joint venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi in the mid-1980s. The Eclipse has also been sold as a captive import under the names Plymouth Laser and Eagle Talon. With the withdrawal of the Plymouth and Eagle brands, only the Eclipse remains in production today.

More on the Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mitsubishi Eclipse Origins

The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a performance-oriented two-door coupe manufactured by the Tokyo-based automaker. The coupe gets its name from a famous English racehorse of the 18th century, which won 26 races. For more than two decades, the Mitsubishi Eclipse remained one of the most popular sport coupes in the U.S. The reasons behind the success of the car include its powerful engine, sleek styling, comfort, and most importantly, a decent degree of affordability. These traits are also inherent in the traditional domestic back-wheel drive sports cars, and the Eclipse has often been described as the Japanese version of a fancy pony car.

There have been four generations of the Mitsubishi Eclipse. With regard to design and all-around performance, the latest version of the Mitsubishi Eclipse is definitely no slouch.

About the Mitsubishi Eclipse

Affordability has been the major scoring point of the Mitsubishi Eclipse. In fact, both the first and second generation versions of the car were considered to be the most affordable sport coupes of their times. The original Eclipse debuted in 1990 and is identifiable from later generations by its hatchback-like body and pop-up headlights. It comes in four separate trims, and each variant offers its own unique mix of powertrains. The top-line model, or Eclipse GSX, boasts a 195 horsepower, four-cylinder turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. The manufacturer made some minor updates to the vehicle in 1992, including the addition of fixed headlights. Comfortable front seats and a sufficiently roomy cargo area also score points for the Eclipse.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Features

The 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse comes as a four-passenger coupe or convertible (Spyder) body style. The former offers four trim levels: GS, GS Sport, SE, and GT. The Eclipse Spyder, on the other hand, only comes in the last three variations.

The entry-level GS version has 18-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, keyless entry, tilt-only steering, full-power accessories, a six-speaker CD audio system, and 50/50-split folding rear seats. The Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Sport has fog lights, xenon headlights, heated power mirrors, a sunroof, leather upholstery, and a rear wiper, to name just a few features. The GS Sport version has a power convertible roof. The new Eclipse SE model includes all of these features in addition to special styling details, such as dark gray alloy wheels, black mirrors, and matching rocker-panel graphics.

The power to both the front-wheel drive Eclipse and the Eclipse Spyder derives from one of the two engines. The GS, GS Sport, and SE models come fitted with a four-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine that generates 162-hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The GS variant has a standard five-speed manual transmission, with the four-speed automatic as an option. The latter comes standard in the SE and GS Sport versions. The Environmental Protection Agency pegs the fuel efficiency of both transmission modes at 20/28 mpg city/highway.

The Eclipse GT contains a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that generates 262 lb-ft of torque and 265 horsepower. The five-speed automatic transmission comes standard in this model. The engine, however, runs only on premium quality fuel, and its economy rate stands at only 17/25 mpg city/highway.

The 2012 Eclipse Spyder and Eclipse have several standard safety features. These include side-impact airbags for front seat passengers, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and stability controls. The coupe variants have front-side airbags, and the Spyder has taller side-airbags that cover the driver’s and front passenger’s heads. The back seats, however, lack adequate head restraints. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards the Mitsubishi Eclipse a ‘Good’ rating with regard to both the side-crash and frontal-offset tests.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Evolution

The latest generation of the Mitsubishi Eclipse was introduced for the 2006 model-year. It offers four trims: GS, SE, SE-V6, and GT. The car did not change much until 2009, when the manufacturer dropped the SE trim. The GT model comes with added stability control, which later became a standard across all Eclipse versions, in 2010. The car got a mild facelift that included an aggressive looking front fascia.

A six-speed manual transmission system came standard in the GT version until 2011. Other than this, the powertrains on all generations remain similar to the current line. The GS Sport made its debut in 2010, and in 2011, the 18-inch alloy wheels became standard on the base GS model. In the same year, the GS Sport came equipped with front leather seats, as well as a power driver’s seat.

Select a Mitsubishi Eclipse Year

2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Coupe, Sports

This is the last year for the Mitsubishi Eclipse, and the last one has already rolled off the production line. Despite this, a new special-edition Mitsubishi Eclipse "SE" model debuts for 2012 with a number of appearance upgrades.

2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Coupe, Sports

Reviews state that the 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse has comfortable seats in the front and a well-designed interior; however, they say materials used on the interior look cheap, and buyers dislike the tiny rear seats.

2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The big news -- literally -- for the 2010 Eclipse is the addition of a large rear spoiler on the GT model, which also receives Xenon headlamps. A new GS Sport model offers the style of the GT but with I-4 power. All Eclipses wear revised front and rear fascias, and the GS Spyder now boasts a dual exhaust system.

2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The Mitsubishi Eclipse was originally conceived back in the 1990s, but this is far from the old supercharged Eclipses of the past.

2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse is heavy for a sport coupe, weighing about 3500 pounds.

2005 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

With its distinct and edgy styling, the 2005 Mitsubishi Eclipse serves as a sporty coupe that delivers respectable performance for a reasonable price.

2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Hatchback, Sports

The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a sport coupe with plenty of style and features.

2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Hatchback, Sports

2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Convertible, Hatchback, Sports

The 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse is a three-door hatchback that is available in three models: RS, GS, and GT.

2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse has a reputation for styling and power that primarily appeals to young people looking for a rush on the road.

2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse is a new generation, receiving a completely new redesign based on the famous Galant.

1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse marks the brand’s very successful attempt to create a budget sports car.

1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse is a sport compact car that has been in production since 1989.

1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse represents the carmaker’s very successful attempt to create a budget sports car.

1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse quickly became a popular sport compact car due to plenty of factory options as well as a great number of aftermarket parts and designs.

1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a compact sport coupe originally designed for left-hand drive traffic markets, yet it was popular in a number of countries around the world.